Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Gotcha? Not Really...

Interesting article in Yahoo! News today. Perhaps not so much for the incident itself, which is telling, but rather for the reaction and bias placed on it by the reporter.

 A young man named Bret Hatch brought what appeared to be a "gotcha" question to a town hall meeting that Mitt Romney was hosting in Wisconsin today. He had been culling through the Book of Mormon looking, no doubt, for some "controversial" doctrine with which he could trip the candidate up, and immediately placed a backward spin on Romney's response that would actually make Jay Carney turn green with envy.

The headline screams "Mormon Question Sparks Tense Moment During Mitt Romney Town Hall."

No big deal, really. This sort of thing is par for the political course these days. Certainly we were treated to all sorts of "gotcha" questions back when Sarah Palin was tossed into the meat grinder and Katie Couric threw down her "which newspapers do you read" IED. There was probably no correct answer to that question. Her honest response won no small amount of scorn in the press, while any other answer would have been torn apart as "phony" or "pretentious."

Today's question was a ham-handed attempt to make Romney admit that because he believes the Book of Mormon to be inspired scripture, then he must be racist because the book refers to a "skin of darkness" as part of a curse for extreme sinfulness.
"I guess my question is do you believe it's a sin for a white man to marry and procreate with a black?" asked Hatch.
"No," Romney responded sternly, before turning to face the other side of the room.
Mr. Hatch later tells the reporter that Romney's answer means he "just denounced his faith up there."

Simply stated: No, he didn't.

What he ignores - conveniently - is the fact that the rest of the book speaks of continuous attempts over the centuries to spiritually reclaim those very people and help them accept the gospel, regardless of the color of their skin. This, after all, is the true message of the Gospel: that the blessings of the Lord are available to any and all who will humble themselves and receive them, irrespective of their skin tone or nationality.

Here's the interesting part of this entire incident. When interviewed after the Town Hall, Mr. Hatch was all too willing to throw out the screed that if Romney believes the Book of Mormon, then it becomes (wait for it) a racial issue. Get that? It has nothing to do with how successful President Obama may or may not have been during his first term. No, if Romney is the nominee this November, then it boils down to race and little more. At least for Mr. Hatch.

Here's the thing: as a life-long member of the Church and believer in the Book of Mormon, Obama's presidency (or the man himself, for that matter) has never been about race for me. It has always been (and will always be, I might add) about his radical socialist policies that have kept this country in a state of continuous economic ruin since the day he took office. That's not racism. That's anti-socialist prejudice, and I will freely stipulate to that particular prejudice for the rest of my natural life. His policies and those of the Democrats currently infesting Congress are ruinous, plain and simple.

If that makes me a racist, then someone needs to contact the various purveyors of dictionaries and get the definition changed. Pronto.

In the meantime, I have to go. My anti-anthropogenic-global-warming re-education sessions begin tonight.


Anonymous said...

This post starts out quite rationally, defending Mitt Romney against ridiculous accusations of racism simply because he's a Mormon. While I'd hardly call Couric's Palin interview a 'meat grinder', I suppose in this age of softball journalism a reasonable person might have a lower tolerance for real questions. Then, alas, the post slides into the realm of the ridiculous. The first item on a garden variety socialist government's agenda is the nationalization of the banking system. Control of the finance sector is a vital stepping stone on road to socialism. If Obama were ANY kind of socialist he would have been overjoyed at the solid gold opportunity he was presented with when he took office in 2008. Simple inaction was all that was needed to let nearly all the banking system fall right into his lap. So what did he do? He got into bed with Goldman Sachs, put Geithner and Summers in charge, gave the banks an unlimited line of credit at the discount window, and kept these loans secret. There could hardly be a LESS socialist response. Calling Obama a RADICAL socialist puts you squarely into the Santorum zone with those who believe that logic and knowledge are inherently evil. Please, leave the freakshow nonsense behind before it drowns out articulation of Obama's ACTUAL faults and convinces the independents that Romney is as idiotic as Santorum.

Woody said...

Probably would have helped had you deigned to mention what, precisely, your definition of "socialist" happens to be. Obama's very first considered move once in office was the ill-conceived bailout and the immediate escalation of our national debt to roughly three times that of President Bush's level. His complete and utter disregard for even basic economic policies and practices makes him the single most socialist president we've had since Woodrow Wilson, and that's saying something, because it completely bypasses the entire dictator-for-life presidency of Franklin Roosevelt.

And, by the way, your own example of the way Obama handled the banks is PRECISELY why Obama should be viewed with an extremely clinical eye. Also, his radicalism can be directly traced to his "community organizer" days spent in the warm glow of Bill Ayers and his cronies.

Live long and prosper. If Obama will let you, that is.

Anonymous said...

If you require an explicit definition of socialism, let's take Webster's: "Socialism - 1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods 2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state." The ultimate goal of a socialist government is government ownership of everything. As I said, the first step on this road is government ownership of the banking system. All Obama had to do was to take over insolvent financial institutions and refuse to lend any more to other banks and he could have accomplished that step. He was handed a socialist's wildest fantasy and completely threw it away. Ergo he isn't a socialist. I wholeheartedly agree with your statement that Obama's actions deserve scrutiny, which is why it drives me crazy when people call him a socialist or a Muslim. Such patent falsehoods do nothing but divert attention from geniunely outrageous behavior such as buying practically worthless notes from Goldman Sachs at full face value. I'd have to respectfully disagree with your statement that the bailout in general flew in the face of basic economic practices. In my opinion, it was an implementation of classic Keynesian policy and I think most economists would agree with me. The real problem with the bailout is the fact that there was a glaring inequality in how various parties were treated and the fact that the result was a significantly greater systemic risk of it happening again. Live long and prosper, if there's a profit in it for Goldman Sachs, that is.

Woody said...

I have a bigger fundamental issue with the bailout, and that is that it never directly addressed the problems that led to the crash in the first place. We're still insisting on providing unsafe loans to people who not only cannot afford them, but are increasingly unlikely to even want to pay them back.

Also, I'm not a huge Keynes fan. Don't they play in Sacramento? Or is that hockey I'm thinking of...